Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Natalia Pierandrei AKA Nati

Interview from 03/22/2007

There are so many artist on the web, doing so many different things, but when I find one who really stands out, I get excited and want people to know about them.
Natalia Pierandrei's profile reads as fallows.

...better known as 'nati', is a traditional illustrator based in Italy. Her artwork is basically anime-styled but also influenced by that of Art Nouveau, and European graphic novels with a penchant for gothic imagery and classical fantasy themes. She loves travelling, Japan, art museums, prose and cats.

Nati was kind enough to reach out across the oceans and around the world to talk to me about just what it is she's after as an artist. I was surprised to learn that (for someone of her talent) she doesn't seem to think she's all that special. I would disagree, but I'll let you be the judge.

Are your ultimate plans to become a comic book artist?
Well, unfortunately my reply is "no, I'm not ultimated them". Many reasons for feeling doubtful about my future as comic book artist. Basically the lack of time. Working on one piece takes less time than working on illustrated fiction, even the short ones. I can complete one, full coloured image in just a day, but a whole story is another pair of shoes!
As you know, I have a full time job (which unfortunately has nothing to do with art or comics). At the moment, I can draw only in my spare time and during the weekends. So, I prefer devoting myself to illustration than to sequential work. That's a pity, especially because the great enthusiasm for comic books caused my passion for drawing when I was a young girl.
Then, I suck at writing decent stories! I mean, I tend to write too complicated plots and that doesn't help when you should need extra time just to draw a couple of pages.

Are you writing your own comic, or do you want to work with a good writer, to help get your ideas out?
When I was a high school student, I drew a lot of comics with a friend of mine. There were basically short comic strips, or parodies of popular TV series. But I also started working on my own fiction and characters. As I wrote, the main problem is I tend to be too prolix and unfocused when planning the events in my stories. This is also a fact that I've not attending any Schools of Comic Art in my life. I have ideas but I lack the basis for writing and drawing good plots. So, I would prefer working with a good writer having the gift for conciseness than trying to publish my incomprehensible projects!

Why is it that even though you are published in four books, taking commissions all the time, and have a sizable fan following, you still do not consider yourself a professional?
LOL! Thank you very much for this question! Well, when I speak of "professional" artists, I refer to people who have a paid occupation as illustrator or cartoonist. Art is their job and they don't need to do something different to "make both ends meet". I'm not a person qualified or employed in one of the "art professions". Some of my illustrations have been featured in collective art books in the past but I should say those weren't payed works. Of course, I gained popularity and exposure but I still need to have a regular job to pay instalments and bills. That said, I'm not a "professional" illustrator because art is not my job. And I also doubt at the moment my artwork has the qualities of professional ones. But things could change in the future, of course!

Where will you pop up next?
No idea. I'm very impulsive, I don't like planning my future.

Where do you want to be, one year from now?
Hhmm, I'd like to be "physically" in a lot of different places in the world but I figure I'll be in Italy yet. Professionally speaking, I have no ideas. I'd like to prepare a good portfolio and try to get in touch with art directors and publishers. But, being a perfectionist and shy artist doesn't help. I mean, it probably will take more than a year to have this portfolio of mine done and "sent"or show to the right persons! LOL
Anyway, I need to focus more on my artwork and this is my goal for the 2007. And then...illustrate a fairytale, complete a short sequential work, improve as illustrator, etc, etc, etc.

Keep an eye on this one folks. I have a feeling that she's going to be a star.

Artist Spotlight: Billy Martinez of Neko Press

Interview from 03/29/07

My wife and I recently met Billy Martinez, owner and publisher of Neko Press on our trip to Wizard World LA. His display at the Golden Apple booth was small, but I was very impressed by how what he was there to present immediately grabbed the attention of myself and other passersby. I was delighted and inspired in seeing that he, and his wife, seemed to be doing well, selling comics and prints of Billy's work, along with the works of other talents, while the artist himself did some very impressive live painting. Upon talking with them, I learned that he was not only a fellow art teacher, but was doing well as a gallery artist, too. Well, as you can imagine, I immediately realized that I should at least somewhat follow this guy's example. I have to admit, that if I hadn't had seen him selling prints, I wouldn't be doing my print project, right now. After the show, I sent him an e mail with some questions, that are always on my mind (about art and the art world) and this is what he was kind enough to send back.

When a person gets into publishing, it's usually because they have a vision, or see a need in the print world that isn't being filled. What are you trying to provide to comics, that no one else is?
I think I'm really focusing on putting out books that readers will remember. I want to make sure they get the most out of our books. Our job is to entertain readers so I'm doing my best to make that promise to our readers.

Outside of comics, you show some really beautiful work in galleries. Are your patrons comic fans, or are you working in two separate worlds?
Two separate worlds. I run my art school in La Mesa. I always tell my students to be versatile. Life is always changing and an artist must change and adapt if he or she wants to make a career out of the biz.

Concept wise, where do you think art is thriving more... in the comics books or in galleries?
At this point it's hard to tell. Both are doing well but I would need more time to observe this.

What do you wish you could see more of? What would you ask growing artists to think about, when they are making art?
To have fun and to follow their own mark and not try to be a clone of other artists. Be original.

You paint mainly women. What are you trying to convey when you paint them?
The beauty and personality and strengths of a woman.

What are your next goals? Where do you see yourself one year from now?
Making comic books and doing more paintings. The same thing I have been doing for over 14 years.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Red wine is good for the heart. Drink lots of it!

Ah, a wine man, too! I'll drink to that.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Art Of Christopher Moonlight Opening Reception @ Wine Styles, Sat. May 3rd

For one night only I will be showing new paintings from my wood panel series at Wine Styles in Thousand Oaks. The reception is May 3rd and will go on from 5PM to 8PM during wine tasting. I will also be presenting new limited addition, hand touched, artist reproductions of past paintings from my Mermaid and Strange Icons series, as well as original works, all made very affordable and ready to take home and hang on your walls.
Wine Styles
193 N. Moorpark Rd. Suite C
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
(805) 371-VINO (8466)

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